Record

CodeNA7623
Dates1641-
Person NameBrechin Guildry; 1641-
ActivityThe Guildry of Brechin grew from the Merchant Society established in 1629 to advance their interests. Their aim was to be legally incorporated, and they were given the right to a Dean of Guild in the 1641 charter of ratification granted to Brechin by Charles I. The advancement of the Merchant Society was halted in the 1640s by the dual problems of Civil War and plague. After the Restoration of Charles II to the throne the merchants renewed their campaign to establish a Guildry. In 1665 they petitioned the town council for representation. At that time, the councillors were made up entirely from the trades, but the merchants eventually sat in the town council when the councillors agreed to reduce trades representation from eighteen to fifteen. They soon made their presence felt and were in conflict with the Town Council and Bishop Strachan within weeks of gaining their seats. The Convention of Burghs became involved, and at a meeting held in the tolbooth of Brechin the Convention decreed that the trades representation be further reduced from fifteen to thirteen and the merchants increased to eight. They also decreed that a Dean of Guild be established and that the treasurer and Hospital master were to be merchants. Each faction set up a rival Town Council and it required the intervention of the Privy Council to set matters straight. The Privy Council decided in favour of the merchants, and in 1669 the trades admitted defeat. On 7 October 1669 the first Dean of Guild court was held under David Donaldson senior. For the next 150 years the merchants ruled the Town Council. After the abolition of trade incorporations in 1846 the Guildry continued to exist, and still exists to this day, as a society dedicated to the welfare of the burgh. It continues to uphold the tradition of service to the community.
Corporate NameBrechin Guildry
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